Tag Archives: family

The Power of Projects

Sondra portrait
Sondra Patton

This summer began with sadness as my family mourned the loss of my Aunt Sondra. My mom came to visit after the memorial service. The regular sound of her crying over the loss of her one and only sister broke my heart. Most days, I had to leave for work or appointments so she had many hours alone on her hands. She read, cooked, watched T.V. and helped around my house to stay busy. We were both just getting through the hard time.

Then there was “The Project.” A project, as defined by Dictionary.com is “a large or major undertaking, especially one involving considerable money, personnel, and equipment.” It’s that and much more. Since I divorced and turned off my cable television, I’ve been obsessed with one project after another.

Truth is, I didn’t really feel like doing any projects this summer. The combination of a family death, injured knee and back, over a hundred degree weather, and a bunch of health issues drained me. I was told to rest, take it easy. I reluctantly did that, but one day while I was laying on the couch icing my knee and back, I mentioned one of my project ideas to my mom. I had a goal to make my backyard into a nicer place to hang out and to eliminate some of the dead grass. The resulting project would be a brick patio. I was frustrated that I couldn’t do it, but also a little relieved. We talked about it how much work it would be and I knew I wasn’t up for it. Apparently, she was.

project 11
The beginning… ugh.

Yep, my 72 year old mom started my project! I came home one day to her shoveling up the dead grass in the backyard. This is no easy task. The ground is an old river bed and it’s as hard as cement and full of rocks, rocks, and more rocks. She dug down four inches too. She is such a studette. Although I was very grateful for her help, I wasn’t quite ready to take on this project. I didn’t want to do it, but there was no turning back. Her desire to accomplish something and help inspired me to do what I could. At first I hired some extra help because I couldn’t stand the physical pain, but over time I started shoveling and the pain subsided. I guessed that moving was the key to healing, not resting anymore.

one project
Not quite half way there. I thought we’d never finish.

My mom would get up at 6am and be out in the backyard with a pickaxe breaking up the ground. One morning she started shoveling part of the two yards of sand into a wheel barrow with the determination to move it all into the backyard BY HERSELF. I couldn’t believe it and wouldn’t let her. I actually told her to stop, but she wouldn’t. So we did it together, all two yards!

Dakota, Mom (Lavonne Rice) and Dominic. The Team

With my mom’s, son’s and a few hired hands’ help, I’ve reached the other side of the project.  As reluctant as I was to do this, I’m happy I did. It brought my mom and I closer together and helped us not wallow in the sadness. It gave my sons memories of working together that they will never forget.

I know that I NEED projects. These endeavors have helped me get through the hard times. They helped me move to the next day with something on my mind other than the suffering. Keeping busy, working on something, forces us to advance, at least on some level. It gives the brain a chance to rest and recover from the negative, and move forward.

If I don’t have a plan to accomplish something new then I feel stagnant and anxious. Although during the overwhelming moments of the projects I may have little meltdowns and say to myself, “What was I thinking?!” I know that when I arrive to the other side, I will be on another level mentally, physically, and spiritually. In the end it will all have been worth it.  It may not be perfect, but it’s mine and it’s good enough. I did the best I could do and doing the project took us all to another place where hard work paid off and made us feel proud. We still miss my aunt, but we continue our lives and honor the time that we still have by being productive.

I wonder what projects other people are up to these days??

project done
The Brick Patios! Wahoo!

Open Wound in Paradise

Just returned from a fun vacation in San Diego with my two boys. Many beautiful memories run through my head of boats, bikes, the beach, Legoland, and the zoo. Special moments with my children inspire me to plan more vacations and outings, but in the midst of all this joy, my heart feels heavy. Not because anything is wrong in my life. It’s something in all of our lives that I haven’t been exposed to on a daily basis since moving to northern California to live in a small rural town. It’s not that this element of life doesn’t exist here, it’s just not as obvious because I don’t live in a place with tons of city streets or big tourist areas.

homeless-man-sleeping-on-sidewalk-in-prado-centro-medellin-colombia2It’s been years since I’ve walked or driven down the streets of a big busy city and I had forgotten about the overwhelming presence of homeless. When I clicked on the little box on the webpage to rent a bike and visit a museum along the shimmering ocean side, I didn’t think about the people who’d be sleeping on the sidewalk along the way. I forgot they’d be there. I wouldn’t have done anything differently in planning my vacation, but I would have prepared myself emotionally and I would have prepared my children better.

I know there are homeless people everywhere, but it’s different in some places. I’ve become used to the man or woman at the street corner with a cardboard sign asking for money, food, etc. They’re not on every corner, but they are present. I’ve been approached by homeless while ordering food at a fast food restaurant and while walking to my car outside of a grocery store. There are many homeless people outside of the public library and near convenience stores and sometimes I feel nervous when entering or leaving those places, but nothing has ever happened. Just the uncomfortable feeling I get when I say “no” to the occasional request for money.

Maybe the presence of homeless shouldn’t affect a vacation, but maybe it should. Forgetting they are there seems to be what I do to cope with the homeless and I feel bad about that. While riding down the sidewalk along the beach in my nice rented bike, enjoying our ice cream cones, we passed by homeless people about every fifteen to twenty feet. I couldn’t believe how many there were. Most were sleeping. Some were asking for money. Some were chatting with other homeless people. One had a sign that said, “Ass, Gas, or Grass”. My ten year old really wanted to know what that one meant. I did my best at explaining.

I tried not to see them and I feel bad admitting that. I have a friend that will approach homeless and start a conversation. I’ve never had the guts or compassion to do that. I feel bad about that too. I have given money out on occasion and I’ve donated to different causes, but nothing seems to feel like enough, especially after this trip. One homeless man who was hunched over on the ground next to his grocery cart had a huge open wound on his leg the size of a large grapefruit. It looked infected. He looked dead. I stopped the bike and walked closer to him to see if his chest was moving. I thought about tapping his shoulder, but I was afraid. His chest moved. I returned to the bike and sat. I didn’t know what to do. It didn’t feel right to just leave, but it didn’t feel right to wake him. So I rode until I found a security guard and I told him about the man. He said there was nothing he could do. He knew about the man and said that he refuses any kind of help. Shocked, I went on my way and tried to forget.

I can’t forget.

I keep wondering if he’s okay and why he won’t get help. I keep thinking I should have given him some water, food, and first aid items. I wish I had.

I recently watched a video on viral4real.com about an experiment with a freezing child on a busy city sidewalk. The young child, who was wearing only jeans, a torn up t-shirt and a trash bag, stood and laid on the sidewalk for over two hours while several people walked by him with their warm jackets, boots and gloves. Not one person stopped to help him. Not one. I cried. I never want to be one of those people who was blind to a suffering human, let alone a child. The only person who came to the child’s aide was a homeless man sitting across from the boy. He gave him his jacket. I cried. Watch the video if you haven’t yet. http://viral4real.com/2015/02/24/the-homeless-child-was-freezing-to-death-while-no-one-approached-him-i-never-thought-this-guy-would-be-the-only-one/

The open wound on that man’s leg made me realize that what I do in regards to homeless people leaves me with an open wound in my heart. I want to do more. I’m not sure what exactly, but walking by people who are suffering and in need and trying not to see them is not working. A quote from viral4real, “If you wait until you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you’ll end up doing nothing for nobody.”

I think the blessing bags are a good idea and that’s where I’ll start. It’s not much, but maybe it will heal a few wounds.


My Cousin Gave To Me

Last night I looked back at my journal. Every year in December I write down what I wish to happen in the future. I believe if we put our dreams out into the universe, there’s more of a chance they’ll happen. They may not occcyn 1ur in our time frame or exactly as we picture them, but some of them will happen in some way. I don’t ask God to accomplish my dreams and goals. I just write what should happen like, Cousin gets published. Become Zumba instructor before birthday. Buy a house. Meet George Lucas. Three out of those four happened. Still waiting on George, but seeing my cousin, Cynthia Kremsner, realize her dream of becoming a published illustrator is way above meeting the creator of Star Wars. (I’ll write that one again this year…still dreaming I am.)

Of course, my little wishes didn’t make her dream come true, all of her hard work did. She put in the hours, the sweat, and the tears. She challenged herself in a mentor program, learned and practiced new techniques, presented at workshops, took criticism, read the rejections, blogged, submitted, and never never gave up. I cannot list all that she did, but Cynthia dedicated herself to her craft and it has been incredible to watch it start to pay off. Her accomplishments make me smile and inspire me.

If I would’ve had pom poms, I would’ve been cheering like the cheer team captain the day I was able to attend a book signing with Cynthia at Barnes and Noble in Roseville, Ca. I could barely contain myself. I already love going to bookstores, but walking in with a published illustrator for her book signing…are you kidding me? Her husband even brought a keyboard so we could singIMG_5512 along to the Twelve Days of Christmas tune of her book, What My Puppy Gave to Me by Cheryl Dannenbring. I never had so much fun in a bookstore.

We gathered around the table where her books were on display and everyone grabbed a copy to read along. Cynthia introduced herself and started us off, “On the first day of Christmas…” One child held the puppy puppet while her mom sang the words of the book. Seeing so many people enjoy her artwork was so right. I couldn’t stop smiling. Seeing my children and my cousin’s children sing along and participate in this huge event in our family made me appreciate my cousin’s hard work even more. I didn’t know that was possible.  cyn3

I appreciate that she never gives up and is still moving forward no matter what life throws at her. Life tried to stop her and knock her down, but she got up every time. Not everyone does. Not everyone has the courage to put themselves out there for criticism and rejection while dealing with the everyday challenges of life. Many times, just doing life is all people can do, but not Cynthia. She fights the good fight. She works fulltime, raises two kids with her husband, and illustrates books. Yes, illustrates books! After a full day of work, she sits herself down in front of her art desk and she not only creates beautiful pieces of art, but also creates pieces of hope. Her own ambition is contagious. Her drive and belief in her dreams help her reach new goals, but they also help others dare to reach.

Go Cynthia Go!  cyn2

No More Shootings!

No. No. NO! Not another one. I can’t believe it. I don’t want to believe it. How could this happen? What the hell is going on?Image Does every city have to be tortured with the horror of a massacre? Every time there’s a shooting, I cry, but this time I wept…a lot. Something about it being in a place close to home where I have friends, where I lived and rode my bike to college just shook me in another way. The news of the shooting in Isla Vista made me ache and took me back to my feelings after Sandy Hook. As a teacher and a mother of a fourth grader, I panicked just thinking about the possibility of that happening in my world. I rushed from work, desperate to see my son walk safely from his classroom. Tears ran down my face when I saw him.

“Why are you crying, Mom?”

“Just happy to see you, honey.” I hugged him tight.

No way could I tell him why I cried. He didn’t need to know that so many people would not stop crying for years because their children were murdered. I don’t know how those parents survived after hearing that their child had been shot to death at school. I would die.

            This week more parents must hear that their child was killed while at school, UCSB, my Alma Mater. No parent should ever hear such news. I cried while I watched one parent of a murdered young man rage publically. He yelled and screamed, demanding to know why nothing’s been done since Sandy Hook to prevent such tragedies. He shouted in honor of his son’s life and in honor of all the young children killed before. I wanted to yell and scream with him because I never want to be in his shoes. I never want anyone else to walk in his footsteps, but what do I do? What is the answer? You’d think a society full of as many intelligent people as we have could figure out how to prevent the mass murder of its citizens, but we can’t…or we won’t.

            The tragedies will continue. It’s only a matter of time before someone else’s plan comes to fruition. Whose city will be shot up? Whose children, family, or friends? The news will be shocking, but will we shocked anymore? Are we becoming so used to it, that we turn our heads and count our blessings that it wasn’t our family, friends, or city? After a few days, another news event fills the headlines and we move on. We forget so we can live. We forget so we can still take our kids to school and send them off to college or just go see a movie without a bullet proof vest. Forgetting is our coping mechanism, but it’s preventing us from uniting and finding a solution. We are all vulnerable and our children are too. Our society has created its own version of the suicide bomber, the suicide shooter, and we need to do something about it. WE, all of us.

            Nobody seems to have the answer, but at least we need to look for one. We can’t stop the discussion in the quagmire of gun control controversy. Some think the answer lies in gun control, but the truth is that there will always be access to guns and weapons. Plus, people can kill with anything. The previous killing in Isla Vista was with a car. Sure automatic and semi-automatic weapons make it easier to commit the crime, and we can wish those weapons away, but that’s like teaching abstinence from sex to teenagers and thinking it will prevent teenage pregnancy. Guns will never go away, but teaching responsibility and training gun owners might help. The gun industry could provide some training to those who buy guns. They could require a class or seminar that would help weed out those who shouldn’t own guns. That’s right, some people shouldn’t own guns. Why not require that people bear arms responsibly? What’s so wrong with that? Anyone who buys a gun should have to be accountable for some training and proof of competence. Yes, proof of mental health and stability. If someone recently spent time in a mental health facility or has posted YouTube videos about killing people, maybe he or she shouldn’t be able to buy a gun. Just a thought. When we apply for a job, employers often do background checks and internet searches to learn more about us, why couldn’t the gun industry do the same? It could save lives. Sure it would be complicated and some privacy issues would come up, but just like our bags have to get searched to board a plane, our personal baggage should get searched to own a lethal weapon.

            The bigger issue at hand is the lack of mental health care in this country, the stigma that surrounds issues of mentaImagel illness, and the unwillingness of people in authority to take mental illness seriously. All of us who know and believe that something needs to be done to stop this continual violent rampage must not forget this time. We must continue looking for solutions that address mental illness across the board. We can’t pretend like it doesn’t exist in our neighborhoods, schools, or homes. It’s everywhere. Just be honest about your own depression or someone you loves’ anxiety and people will talk about their issues. Mental health issues are everywhere. Everywhere. We need to talk about it and demand help. We need to educate ourselves about it. Everyone. We collectively created this mess. We collectively need to solve the problem. No one gets a pass. No one is safe from mental illness or the results of mental illness. It’s all of our responsibility to embrace this issue and start finding solutions. The clock is ticking. Someone else is planning another shooting. What are we going to do about it?

The One and Only

The One and Only

By Darbie Andrews   Image

I want to tell you about the most magnificent person in my life. This person made me feel a love that I didn’t know existed. My heart grew the day I met him. He’s the best thing that ever happened to me. I’m a stronger, more ambitious, and happier person because of him. He is the one and only, Dakota, my oldest son.

His entrance into my life began before his birth. It happened the day the doctor put the warm ultrasound gel over my small belly for the three month check-up.  I squeezed my husband’s hand, hoping this time would be different. We watched the black and white squiggly images changing on the screen. We could see our baby, but we wanted to hear him.  The doctor’s hand stopped moving, “Shhh,” he said. I lifted my head, hoping that would help me hear the sound that I should have heard two years ago. Nothing. I couldn’t go through that again I thought.

“Is everything okay?” I asked.

“Relax,” the doctor said.

“I’ll try,” I took a deep breath.


I let my tears fall, silently. I didn’t want to drown out the beautiful sound with my crying.

My baby had a heartbeat.

When we left the doctor’s office that day, we practically skipped to our car. We looked down at my belly several times and smiled. I wrapped my arms around myself and squeezed real tight, hoping my baby would feel the hug.  I kissed my hand then placed it on my belly. The sound of his heartbeat sang in my head. A love filled my heart like no other.

My love for him grew during the next six months as I watched my belly expand and felt him move around inside of me. The blessing of being pregnant made me grateful for every element of the process.  The weight gain, the nausea, the swelling of my feet…everything was perfect. I was so lucky to have each and every experience. I spent as much time as I could reading about every detail of his growth. I entertained people with my news, “Guess what? This week his fingernails are forming. Isn’t that amazing?” I felt like I had the winning lottery ticket and I just wanted to tell everyone all about it.

His due date fell on the day I graduated with my Master’s Degree, but all nine pounds and two ounces came into the world a week later, four days before my thirty-eighth birthday. His arrival came after many hours of labor then an emergency caesarian section. When the doctor finally held him up so I could see him, I couldn’t believe my eyes. There he was, perfect and beautiful. I’d never seen anything as amazing as him in my entire life. I thought my heart was going to pop out of my chest.Image

During the next three months of maternity leave from teaching the second grade, I spent every day with my son, caring for him, staring at him, holding him, rocking him, singing to him, feeding him. I didn’t want to do anything else. Just looking at him made me happy.  Nothing gave me the same satisfaction and contentment as caring for Dakota. Tearing myself away from him to return to work hurt in a way I’d never experienced.  Every day it felt like I’d left part of my heart behind.

I’d rush home as fast as I can to see him and I still do. I don’t want to miss a second of his life. From his first words, “butda, butda,” to his birthdays, sports events, and report cards, I record it all. Watching him explore the world around him and grow is my greatest joy. The memories are endless and priceless. Dakota has brought a delight into my life beyond compare.Image

He is almost ten years old and I Imagecan’t believe it. His curious mind still drives him as it did during the toddler years.  I never have to worry about how he’s doing in school because he always does his best. Since Kindergarten, he’s excelled. He seeks out information and consumes novels, sometimes one a day, but one of the best parts of my son is his caring heart. How other people feel is important to him. He never wants to do anything to hurt anyone and always wants to do what is right.

Life has thrown Dakota a curve ball with the divorce of his parents four years ago, but he’s resilient.  He lives in two homes and thrives in two homes. His intelligence and desire to do the right thing keep him on the correct path. He enjoys many privileges, but appreciates what he has and this is so evident in his willingness to share with others. Dakota has had two foster brothers and with each of them he gave of himself and of his things.

ImageThe most beautiful example is how he helped his younger brother, Dominic, learn to speak. When Dominic first came to live with us at the age two and a half, he only spoke five words. He called Dakota, “dah” because he couldn’t pronounce his name. I couldn’t believe my ears one night when Dakota decided to read to Dominic and work with him on pronouncing certain words in the book. He praised him for his attempts at saying each word. I attribute much of Dominic’s rapid improvement in speaking to Dakota’s hard work, love, and patience. He could get Dominic to try to speak better than anyone else. Within six months of living with us, Dominic exited out of all of his speech and play therapy programs. I’m so proud of both of them.

Having the opportunity to give birth to a baby and raise a child is the one of the best prizes a human can win.  I didn’t understand it until it happened to me. Seeing his hopeful eyes every day, knowing that his life and happiness depend on me gives me the one and only feeling that changes people, that feeling of pure unconditional love. We all want and deserve it, but we don’t always experience it.  I do everything I can to make sure he feels my unconditional love every day. He’s Imagemy one and only Dakota and he’s inspired me to live better and love deeper. Being his mother has expanded my capacity to love and to have another one and only, Dominic. Dakota still teaches him and always will. He shows him how to build with Legos, throw footballs, shoot basketballs, and listen to directions. When I watch my two sons playing together, I feel like I’m the luckiest person in the world. No lottery ticket could top this!

The “Never Forgets” By Darbie Andrews

ImageI brought in another box from the truck and paused just inside the entry way. Was this really my house? The white walls melted away with the continual movement of paint rollers. The old, dingy, and dull disappeared behind bright, bold, and fresh. I stepped out of the way as friends brought in more boxes. I sat mine down and grabbed more paint for another friend who stood high on a ladder to paint the upper corners of the kitchen. Then I brought duct tape to my buddy sitting on the floor behind the dryer. My cellphone rang; more help was on the way to finish painting and help me unpack. I smiled, but my eyes watered. I’d never forget it, the moment I realized that I’d reached the other side and the divorce had ended on another level. I was no longer broke, without friends, or fighting any legal battles. Yes, this was MY house. With the help of others and the undying need to move forward, I’d managed to create enough new joyous “never forgets” to overpower the painful “never forgets” of the past. Wahoo!Image

It really hit me when my friends who’d been there for some rough moments of the divorce walked in the front door of my new home and immediately started working. They grabbed paint brushes and rollers and painted nonstop. They were on a mission. I couldn’t believe how much time and energy they gave. Seeing them work so hard on creating a new home for me and my sons made me feel so incredibly loved. It was like they were painting away those hard times when I had cried to them about the lawyer meetings and expenses, the loss of half my retirement, the custody battles, and the loneliness of divorce,. They gave me new “never forgets”. Every time I look at my freshly painted walls I think of them and I will never forget their love, support, and hard work.

Then came the heavy lifting: appliances, furniture, bricks (yes, bricks). As soon as my friend grabbed the dolly cart, memories of my last move from the marital home shot through my head. My father had come to help. He and I moved everything alone. I’ll never forget the pain of that move. It felt like someone had cut me in half. In contrast, during this move, I felt complete and whole. Many friends came to help me begin a new exciting stage in my life. I’ll never forget how hard they worked and how much care they put into placing my things in the right place. They literally helped me move forward and claim a new lifestyle.

  As my friends painted and lifted, cleaned and unpacked, I wondered how I could ever repay them for all they’d given me. I hoped that I could give them some positive “never forgets” in the future or that I’d already given them some. Unlike the “never forgets” that I have intentionally worked for to overcome the pain of the past, these “never forgets” were a surprise. I didn’t expect the help that these wonderful people gave to me. That’s what made it even more unforgettable.

I’ll never forget the day, the real estate agent handed me the keys to my new house, but all the memories of people helping me afterwards, top that moment by far. Giving of our time and energy is one of the most powerful things we can do to make a difference.  Families give to each other because they are family, but when people step outside of their families and reach out to friends, it’s another level of giving.  We all have the power to create new “never forgets” for others and for ourselves. Sometimes the painful “never forgets” can weigh us down and keep us stuck, but only if we let them. The power of new beginnings, new memories, and new hope can move mountains.

I’m thankful for my painful “never forgets” because they have motivated me to seek new memories and experiences and they have taught me the power of moving forward and building a new life. Positive “never forgets” have helped me survive, thrive, and enjoy life. I’ve learned to value every experience and use it to create the life I want for myself and my children.Image

ImageMy oldest son who lives in two separate homes due to divorce chose bright green and blue paint for his room. My youngest, adopted son, chose baby blue paint. I handed them both a paint roller and said, “You’re going to help paint your bedrooms.” They both asked me why.  I replied, “Because you’ll never forget this.”  We need positive “never forgets” to get through the challenges moments of life and I hope to give my children and myself many more of them.

A Message from the Beast

the beastA Message from the Beast

Oh look! I did it again. I took down another famous one. Regardless of power, wealth, success, or resources, I win. Nothing can stop me. I can get anyone. Even you. Even some of the people who mourned his death and cursed me for my existence went home after the funeral and gave themselves to me. They couldn’t help it. They used his death and their sadness as reasons to continue with me.

Some may think that his death will help fight me, but it won’t. Do you think I’ve weakened since Michael? Hah! I have people in the palm of my hands because they think they need my collaborators (alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, pills, etc.) to cope with life. They believe they need something more than what life offers. They feel they’re not good enough or life’s not good enough so they try to intensify or nullify their experiences.

I especially love all the party people. The “let’s get together and put stuff in our bodies to see how it feels” group. It’s so easy to do my job when you have people who want to escape reality so they can relax, fit in, let loose, or “have fun?” Following my directive to trap as many people as possible and never let them go is so easy.

I am so happy that people are afraid to live their lives without substances that temporarily make them feel better or different. I mean, who would have thought that a living being would give up all their possessions and loved ones for a moment, for a high? It’s an amazing gig. I offer a few moments of pleasure or release and these moments become more important than anything else. Oh, the power!

I’m sneaky too. I come to you when you’re young. I come through music, media, your family, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends…anyone, but usually through someone you know. Yep, I use the ones you love the most to get to you. Even when I’ve caused incredible pain and suffering to children by destroying their parents, I can still get the children to follow me. I have genetic powers. People like to forget that and they play with my collaborators, denying that there’s any chance they’ll come my way.

Then there are all my helpers. So many people who live with me show others how to do the same. They don’t want to be alone with me so they practically recruit my new victims. With them, I can take down humans from all walks of life. My best allies are those people who like to lower their inhibitions, to be a little out of control. They forget where it might lead. Better yet, they think that it will never happen to them.

Of course there are those who know it could happen to them. They respect my power and they fear my ability to control. They aren’t willing to open my door.  They’ve learned from others who’ve followed me and they live a life without my collaborators. I don’t like those people.  There don’t seem to be too many of them. Even those who only play with my collaborators once in a while help me expose young ones to me, so I like them, but those who don’t partake at all, they piss me off.

It’s okay though, I am still winning. The government tries to stop me. Churches and counselors try to stop me. Police try too, but I laugh in all of their faces. I take some of them with me during the fight. I am giddy with joy. My success surpasses all! I’m a gold medalist all over the world.

I know there are many people who hate me and want me to stop taking lives, but they can’t do anything about me. Well, they can offer counseling and worsen punishments, but until every human being understands that anyone, I mean anyone, can be my victim, people will continue to act arrogantly and walk through my doors with the intentions of leaving, but not be able to.

To those who won’t let me in, I will get them too. I will get them by taking someone they love, maybe an uncle, son, or daughter. There are no limits to where I go. No one is safe. Humans will never learn. There will always be those who think I will never own them. Oh, the arrogance. I’m stronger than Mother Nature. I can make a mother sell her children for more of me or a father drive drunk with his kids in the car…or worse. Doubt me? Come give me a try. So many people are doing it, why not you?

Yours Truly,